Florists see fewer Mother’s Day orders

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – Early May is usually a busy time for florists, but this year is significantly different.

Last year, Bessie’s filled up to 500 orders over Mother’s Day weekend. This year, they have half as many orders and half the staff to fill it, thanks to COVID-19.

“It normally is very busy but this year, of course, not quite so much,” said owner Barbara Halstenberg.

Since the local florist is still open, staff members at Bessie’s have taken a number of precautions to keep themselves safe.

“We all wear masks. We all wear gloves. With our situation, it’s really good for social distancing because each of our tables are at least six feet apart.”

When it comes to making deliveries, they’re making sure to follow social distancing guidelines as closely as possible.

“When people come back from taking a box of deliveries, they stay outside and we bring the box of flowers to them so there’s not a lot of people in one space.”

Halstenberg says she’s not worried about fewer orders affecting her business’s bottom line because of loans offered by the federal government. Her main concern was being there to serve her loyal customers.

“This is for my people, my customers. They have been with me for 27 years, and it would be so wrong to let them down. That just wasn’t an option.”

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at